This sums up about half the comments this series has received, reminding me that not everyone has spent the last six months obsessing over Superception the way I have. For me, this is a parallel head canon, so I'm always confused by people being surprised that it works. Of course it works! This is how it happened!
The thing of it is: I love this crossover and I will never be able to write all of the fic that I want in it. Plus, I'm lazy and would like to read some without having to write it first. Hence this post: the merged timeline of my Superception 'verse, "Not Such As I Was". If you're curious how to pull the two canons together, here are the basic mechanics and back story for how I chose to do it: a mix of canon, fanon, historical fiction, applied phlebotinum, miracles, and, of course, True Love(s).
I post it in the hopes it may inspire some people to cross these canons over in completely different ways. It's also an open invitation for other people to join this sandbox; after the timeline, there are some general guidelines that I'm using while writing the series, further details on Project Lavoisier, quite a bit of miscellany and some story ideas that I don't know if I'll ever get around to incorporating. But maybe one of you will.
Needless to say: here there be spoilers-- probably. This is a living document: it's how I think the two canons interacted prior to June 2012 (with the help of my accomplices - Cally, Squid, Sis, DS, Mel, Lass and anyone else whose ear I've talked off: THANK YOU.). Particular details about events may change in the process of fic writing, or if someone happens to come along with some much better idea about what happened. Also, these are by no means the only places where the canons intersected: others almost certainly happened, it's just they haven't been noticed yet. So if you notice 'em, feel free to tell us all about 'em.
TIMELINE - 'Not Such As I Was' - a Superception 'verse
(AKA Mashing together the SPN and Inception timelines, AKA - I really hope there isn't some expanded universe origin for somnacin and the dreamshare programs, because I just came up with one and it was complicated. Also, all of these births are included so that I know everyone's ages in both 2001-2003 and 2012 and when various people could be in the army, meet each other, etc.)
February, 1950 - Bobby Singer born (note: according to Superwiki, Bobby is fluent in Japanese)
April 22, 1954 - John Winchester born
December 5, 1954 - Mary Winchester born
August, 1959 - Saito born - only child of a couple that runs a noodle house that doubles as a Perfectly Legitimate Businessmen's Club in Yokohama.
October, 1966 - Ellen Longabaugh (later, Harvelle) is born.
Autumn 1973 - birth of Mallory Miles
Spring 1974 - Dominic Cobb is born
June 1976 - Eames born - blue blood. He is the (much) younger of two sons.
Spring 1978 - Yusuf is born in Karachi; Saito graduates from high school; Dean is conceived; Mary Campbell and John Winchester lose all memories of their adult sons.
January 1979 - Dean Winchester born
October 1980 - Arthur born, youngest child after an older brother, Daniel, and an older sister Deborah; Maxwell Azania, a South African exchange student in Leipzig, East Germany, begins work on his dissertation project examining the potential uses of Silene capensis - African dream root.
March 1982 - Saito graduates from the University of Tokyo with a degree in mechanical engineering ("A great manager will understand every aspect of his business.")
May 2, 1983 - Sam Winchester born
June 1983 - Upon news of his father and brother's imprisonment following the Church Street bombing, Maxwell Azania returns to South Africa, his dissertation drafted but incomplete. Azania is taken into custody upon his arrival in Cape Town.
July 1983 - Azania's advisor, Manfred Ulbricht, still hopeful that Azania may be released and receive his degree, submits a copy of Azania's draft to both the University's administration and the Stasi, as is routine. Two weeks later, the Stasi confiscate all of Azania's notes and briefly detain Ulbricht, who is released as a loyal communist after three months.
May, 1985 - Saito graduates from Harvard Business School with an MBA with High Distinction and begins working as a middle manager at Osaka Electric Power Company, Inc., a Proclus Global subsidiary.
May 2, 1986 - Ulbricht defects to the U.K. during a chemistry conference.
December 1986 - Jo Harvelle is born.
August 1989 - In the chaos leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, a member of the Stasi and double agent for MI-6 is killed while delivering Azania's work into the hands of an American courier. Prior to forwarding the package to MI-6, the CIA makes copies.
September 1989 - Professors Stephen Miles is awarded a four year chair as a guest professor in Architecture at Cornell University. His wife, Professor Marie "Sophia" Miles, is given a position in the psychology department as a spousal hire.
December 1989 - Ariadne is born.
June 1990 - During the Apartheid negotiations, the CIA negotiates for the quiet release of Azania and arrange for his emigration to the United States.
September 1990 - Mallory Miles begins studying psychology at Columbia University; Adam Milligan is born.
June 1991 - Saito marries Shinoda Nobuko, daughter of the COO of Proclus Global, Shinoda Kōsai. They manage to expand and diversify Proclus' international holdings and are one of few Japanese-based multinationals to dramatically expand during the Lost Decade.
September 1991: Dominic Cobb enters the architecture program at Cornell.
Thanksgiving, 1992 - Dom and Mallory meet.
Spring 1993 - Mal graduates and returns to Paris with her mother. Stephen Miles is contacted by the United States military and accepts a renewable research grant with them.
Summer 1993 - Sophia Miles is contacted by the British military. At her request, her daughter Mallory joins her as an assistant.
Autumn 1994 - Eames and Yusuf begin reading at Trinity College in Cambridge; despite this, they first meet in Cape Town nearly ten years later.
November 1995 - Eames drops out of Trinity College despite exemplary marks and enters the military as part of a confidential agreement allowing him to avoid imprisonment after The Incident (The records have been sealed for the next 150 years; Eames isn't particularly proud of it, but he doesn't feel terribly guilty about it either.)
December 1995 - Dom Cobb completes his architecture degree at Cornell; plans to continue his degree at the University of Paris are disrupted when he is offered a research position with the U.S. military, which he accepts.
August, 1996 - During holiday, Stephen and Sophia Miles realize over dinner that they're working for competing dreamshare programs. Neither has been able to achieve an entirely stable dream: the U.S. focusing on the architecture while the Brits assumed it was a psychological and /or chemical issue.
September 1996 - The U.S. and U.K. military finally acknowledge the existence each other's dreamshare programs when Stephen and Sophia Miles together build and populate the world's first stable shared dream. This proof of concept is then replicated by Dominic Cobb and Mallory Miles within a month.
Summer 1997 - Arthur's father dies of natural causes.
Autumn 1997 - Yusuf receives a double first (roughly equivalent to a double major, Magna Cum Laude in Ameri-speak) and a Masters in chemistry and neurobiology from Trinity College; he returns to Karachi and works at a small medical research firm for about a year before the ISI hands him the Azania Paper and a vial of Somnacin and ask him to start reverse engineering.
Spring 1998 - Eames is reassigned to the U.K. dreamshare program.
Summer 1998 - "Try sticking up a notice on any dorm bulletin board. No one is more interested in sleep and fast cash than a college freshman." - Dom Cobb. The U.S. and CIA begin seeking lucid dreamers outside of the military via "sleep studies," recruiting at Ivy League and other highly competitive universities.
September 1998 - Dean Winchester officially drops out of high school; Arthur matriculates at Columbia and meets Mal Miles.
December 1998 - After excelling in all areas of expertise in the dreamshare program, Arthur drops out of Columbia to join the Army and is fast-tracked to E-5 despite his age.
1998-2001 - Dreams remain highly unstable, with most people unable to sustain them long enough to be very productive. Even the best dreamers will sometimes have "soft places" in the dream where people can drop off into Limbo without warning. Eames and Arthur are among the lucky 12-18% of candidates who survive the training without severe psychological damage or death - Eames in the SSA, Arthur beats out a conventionally trained Delta Operative after four real-time months. Stephen Miles becomes the first known sane survivor of Limbo; afterwards, he stops going into the field. Mal and Dom continue on as researchers for the U.S. government and receive their doctorates through government arrangement as part of their compensation package.
1999 - During the near continuous shake-up of the ISI that year, Yusuf flees Pakistan and relocates briefly in Qatar before settling in Cape Town, where he begins working with a repatriated Maxwell "Ndonsa" Azania.
Saturday, August 11, 2001 - Arthur and Mal arrive at Stanford University to set up the "sleep study" and begin recruitment; the closest reassignment Cobb can manage is USC, where he also teaches classes.
Sunday August 12, 2001 - Sam Winchester informs his father that he will be attending Stanford beginning in September.
Wednesday August 15, 2001 - Sam arrives in Palo Alto - spends the night at a hotel, but the $250 Dean slipped him will not hold him over.
Thursday August 16, 2001 - Sam arrives at Stanford. Classes are not scheduled to begin until the 23rd of September but he is granted permission due to extenuating circumstances to stay with some other early arrivals and grad students in Lagunita Court until the beginning the the Fall Quarter. He moves into his room that afternoon.
Monday, August 21, 2001 - After being tested by Arthur due to complaints by other students about his screaming, etc. due to night terrors, it turns out that Sam is the first person who can make dreams so clear and stable they feel real. Arthur and Mal arrange for Sam to join the dreamshare program - his participation allows him to follow a five year plan for graduation without academic penalty.
November 2001 - Arthur is reassigned to a combat unit during the first Afghanistan strikes. Sam continues participating in the dreamshare program; Mal uses her connections to keep him out of the military. Eames and Arthur are both involved strategic strikes during the first months of the war. Sam befriends Brady.
January 2002 - Arthur returns to Stanford and is put in charge of Sam's security -- both keeping him safe and keeping him in the project. Sam and he enter into an extremely discreet relationship - Arthur has everything to lose if they're caught, Sam (unknowingly) does as well. Arthur thinks Brady's a trustafarian; Brady only knows Arthur as "that guy who drops you off from work".
March 2002 - Saito is appointed CEO of Proclus Global; the US Army releases the confidential Project Lavoisier paper and new Somnacin blend to the U.K. and other allied programs.
April 2002 - Eames unilaterally releases himself from Her Majesty's service, nabbing a PASIV device AND a copy of the Lavoisier Paper in the process.
March 2003 - Arthur is again called to serve in the real world, this time in Iraq. Sam is unhappy about this.
Spring 2003 - Sam faces increasing pressure to join the CIA as the military winds down its research into dreamshare due to budget re-direction related to the Iraq War; Eames is contracted by Dimera Pharmaceuticals (manufacturers of, among other things, Herpexia), a subsidiary of Proclus Global, to identify and 'take custody' of the theoretical person referred to as Lavoisier.
July, 2003 - Arthur returns from Iraq and is honorably discharged. Begins planning with the Cobbs to make a business out of extraction; he and Sam stop being quite as discreet, and Arthur first asks Sam about leaving Stanford to join him in freelancing.
November 2003 - Dom and Mal marry in Paris; while in France, Sam agrees to drop out of school to join Arthur and Dom. Dean visits Sam two days after he gets home from the trip. Harsh words are said - Sam refuses to discuss it with Arthur or Brady - this is the last time Sam and Dean speak until the Pilot.
Thanksgiving 2003 - Brady is possessed.
Early December 2003 - Brady introduces Sam to Jess Moore.
Late December 2003 - Sam and Arthur break up when Sam states that he will be staying and finishing his degree, and is going to go to law school. "It's not that I don't -- this is exactly why I left my family in the first place. Sure, the pay's better, but it's not what I want." Both walk away believing that the other dumped them. Sam officially leaves the dreamshare program after much signing of confidentiality agreements. Arthur begins freelancing with the Cobbs, with their base of operations located in Los Angeles.
January 24, 2004 - Sam takes Jess out for her birthday; they begin dating.
June 2004 - Arthur and Eames work their first job together. Eames begins flirting immediately. Arthur is still a little ginger from the Sam break-up. While on holiday, Saito scales K2.
April 2005 - Phillipa born.
November 2, 2005 - Jess dies.
November 9, 2005 - Sam and Dean hit the road.
July 2006 - Hosni al-Ghazali, the last surviving chemist who knows Lavoisier's identity, is the subject of a failed extraction attempt in San Francisco. He moves to Arlington, VA and has not left his apartment since.
Spring 2007 (prior to May 2) - Madeline Velasquez-Garcia, one of the finest extractors/architects in the freelance/criminal dreamshare community from Puerto Rico, an occasional collaborator with Eames and the only known person whose dreams rival the clarity of Sam's/Lavoisier's, disappears and is never heard from again. She is only 24. (Eames never did manage to sleep with her.)
May 2, 2007 - Dean sells his soul.
Later in May, 2007 - James born
January 2008 - Dream a Little Dream of Me - See Discreet and Discrete Lives
February 2008/six months Trickster Time - Mystery Spot - See Penrose Stairs.
March 2008 - Jus in Bello - Arthur spends a frenzied two weeks making sure Sam isn't actually dead. Sam apologizes for not checking in, confesses he might be over his head, but again refuses to let Arthur be involved.
April 2008 - Arthur and Eames have sex for the first time. (Unwritten LDC fic)
May 2, 2008 - Dean goes to Hell; Sam buries him in Pontiac, IL, the closest place he knows with an active crossroads demon, but no one will deal.
June 2008 - The Cobbs find Limbo; Yusuf relocates to Mombasa
July 2008 - The four-man extraction team that botched the al-Ghazali job is found just outside of Austin, TX; they never regain consciousness.
September 2008 - Ariadne begins studying under Stephen Miles at the University of Paris; Dean is gripped tight and raised from Perdition.
November 2008 - Mal (35) jumps off the ledge, Dom flees (judging by their appearance in Dom's dreams and their appearance at the end, their children have aged no more than 18 months since Mal's death). Sam convinces Dean to take two days out of their month-long hunting spree to attend Mal's funeral.
March 2010 - Saito catches Cobb and Arthur - preparations for Inception begin.
May 2010 - Arthur receives a confusing and apologetic message from Sam but is unable to return it until after...
July 2010 - Inception - Arthur returns Sam's call and receives Robo-Sam's very chilly reply. Eames and Arthur begin sleeping together on a regular basis and eventually move in together - riding right along into blissful curtain fic until Sam interrupts them. Cobb goes into semi-retirement, resumes teaching. Yusuf and Ariadne eventually relocate to Los Angeles, as they tend to work with Eames and Arthur as often as not. The group regularly contracts with Saito, who steps down as CEO of Proclus Global after the break up of Fischer Morrow but retains an interest in protecting his investments. Sometimes in unpredictable ways.
August 2011 - Exile on Main Street - Robo Sam comes a callin' on Dean.
May 2012 - The wall falls, Godstiel - Sam's initial re-convergence.
June 2012 - Within two weeks of the reconvergence, Sam starts having hallucinations, admits as much to Dean and Bobby, and calls Arthur for help.
'Verse Rules/More Like Guidelines
Q: How'd we get here?
A: Here's the concept for the 'verse in two sentences: Back at Stanford, Sam and Arthur were secretly in love. Post-Godstiel, Sam finally takes Arthur up on his offers for help. Takes a strict turn for AU during the events of 7.01 and 7.02 (or at least, it will). See the timeline for more details.
A: Seeing as they weren't involved in the supernatural apocalypse, they were never paid much attention. Angels (at the very least) can enter a mortal's dreams at will and without even knowing the mortal's actual location. (See The Rapture, Free to be You and Me) So dreamshare is considered by MOST to be a "stupid human trick" like automobiles. The two main exceptions to this are Gabriel and Balthazar.
Q: We're talking about omniscient, omnipotent Godstiel here, right?
A: Are we? In Dean/Sam/Arthur/Eames' subconscious, Godstiel is only as strong as they think he is. (For the record, Eames is an atheist and Arthur comes from a non-observant Reformed Jewish background..)
Q: What about the demons?
A: Crowley and Meg know of its existence but don't know that Sam ever dealt with it (see 'stupid human tricks') — Azazel DID know and sent Brady to get Sam back on track.
Q: That timeline sure gets hazy at the end and while Arthur and Sam are, ummm, making the beast with two backs.
A: That's because story happens there. And porn.
Q: What's the Oblivion File?
A: If I ever write the original fic idea that started this, it will be a way to avoid needless and endless exposition. =D
Within the 'verse, however, it's a highly secure file server dropbox that Arthur creates and maintains starting in November 2005. He and Sam are the only two people who can access it, and it's originally intended as a courtesy thing because they're both in secretive, high-risk ventures. They each have their own file - and if they're going into a situation where they think they might die, they let the other one know what probably happened to them. They agree to ONLY read the other's file if they have proof of the other's death/the other has totally disappeared. Sam winds up using his as a journal - all throughout canon (except during the Robo-Sam period), Sam has been updating it with all of their cases, including pictures and other documentation. (Yes, Arthur notices how often Sam updates and yes, he's alarmed, but he keeps his word and doesn't look.) When Sam finally calls for help post-Godstiel, he has Arthur and Eames read an edited version of the Oblivion File (he takes out all/most of the teary goodbye notes and declarations of love). Arthur/the Inception team remain more than a little skeptical (at first), but it's a whole lot of corroborating evidence to deny.
Questions of Romance
Q: What is the pairing header for this 'verse?
A: It's DEFINITELY Arthur/Eames with past Sam/Arthur (and all canon pairings). Any other non-canon pairings are unsettled as yet.
Q: Does Arthur love Sam or Eames?
A: He loves them both. Concurrently. No, really: it happens. Arthur is equally queasy about speaking the "love" word aloud with both. As of 2012, however, he's in a committed relationship with Eames which he has grown comfortable with.
Q: Does Sam love Arthur or Jess or Dean?
A: See above. He is not, as of 2012, sleeping with any of them (especially not Jess).
Q: What's Dean's position on these goings on?
A: He and Arthur have always hated each other -- instinctively, mostly because they each view the other as stepping on their turf, Arthur because he blames Dean in part for what he views as Sam's abusive childhood and because Dean keeps fucking up his relationship with Sam; Dean feels that Arthur is an arrogant prick and is insecure that Arthur might actually be better at mission object #1--Keeping Sam safe. Finding out that Arthur is Sam's ex mostly produces recriminations at Sam for yet another secret kept from him, and now he's got another reason to hate Arthur (for messing with Sam's heart).
Q: This isn't a Wincest 'verse?
A: Not actively, no. If it were and Eames/Arthur/anyone on the Inception side knew (and with everyone all up in Sam's subconscious and Hallucifer blabbing everything he can, they'd find out), they'd make an enormous, plot-hijacking evil fuss about it, and I don't want that. This doesn't mean that there aren't AUs and there is the *slightest* chance that Wincest happened at some point but isn't ongoing. Mostly though, those thoughts are confined to Sam's and or Dean's Subconscious Roomfuls of Angst™ - but feel free to get explicit there if you feel the need.
Q: How does Ariadne fit into all of this?
A: She finds both Winchesters attractive but entirely too damaged for her.
Q: Does (insert name here) trust (insert name here)?
A: Of course not. Everyone involved in this is a suspicious bastard, and rightfully so.
Q: If Arthur and Sam were to forget themselves and revert to old habits of screwing each other stupid, would Eames seduce Dean in a fit of jealousy?
A: Quite possibly.
Fun Facts About Lavoisier/Sam Winchester (aka, if anyone wants to write a fic based on these, please do!)
Due to his demon blood, Sam's dreams are MUCH clearer/more stable than anyone else's. Prior to Sam's joining the project, dreams in general were much less "real"/stable and it was unlikely that anyone could lose track of reality. It's only after going into a dream with Sam that Mal realizes the need for, and then invents, totems. Post-Lavoisier, extraction, which until then had been a largely theoretical and unpredictable use of Somnacin/the PASIV, became one of its most lucrative uses.
According to Squid (and he's right), Sam's totem is WAS a moleskine notebook (like Arthur's <3). In reality the ink was blue, he's numbered the pages on the bottom outside corners, and on page fifteen he's written down Dean's phone number and underneath it, Arthur's (no names or area codes). In the dream, any one of those variables can change. Post-Meg, Sam keeps a bracelet of anti-possession charms in his pocket; in the dream, all of the beads are metal, in reality, one bead is ceramic.
Based on blood and urine tests from Sam, chemists are able to reverse engineer an adjustment to the Somnacin that makes the realistic dreamshare seen in the movie possible. The adjustment/addition to the compound is extremely counter-intuitive, i.e., if you asked Yusuf, he would say, "It was like looking at your brand new house and deciding that instead of using latex paint, you were going to cover it with honey instead." According to Squid (and he's right) the addition involves sulfur. In particular cysteine. Yusuf natters on about it (and Project Lavoisier) to Ariadne extensively here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1y8Qr
Mal and Arthur became protective of Sam early on in the project: when the military/CIA discuss taking him in as an asset too valuable to lose, Sam threatens to bolt and is only calmed down by Arthur (this may be when they first kiss/confess feelings); Mal has to use every bit of her (considerable) leverage to give Sam the normal college life he wants. As a result, Sam's identity remains shrouded in secrecy among the dreamshare community. Dom knows Sam as Arthur's boyfriend and protege, but does NOT know that Sam is Lavoisier. In June 2012, the only people still alive and mentally sound who know that Sam Winchester = Lavoisier are Arthur, Sam, Sophia (Mal's mother, (since the series started I became aware of supplementary material that's given her name as Marie, but as it's in so many stories already, we'll go with in this 'verse she prefers to go by her middle name) who was called in to treat Sam's night terrors), and Hosni al-Ghazali, the original chemist on the project. Hosni was the subject of an unsuccessful extraction attempt in 2006 and has not left his apartment since.
The chemists write a complete bullshit cover-up paper for how they figured out the adjustment which is distributed as a classified document (Project
Even after the adjustment to Somnacin, Sam's dreams remain more "real" and more stable than any other dreamer (except one - see Spring 2007 in the timeline). He can also adjust the landscape (move objects about - hear things over impossible distances, etc.) without attracting as much attention from projections.
Sam cannot forge (and during most of Sam's time in the business, Eames is the first forger/something of a rumor/something visiting U.K. soldiers brag about.) Sam is the first person who is able to dream stably enough for Mal and Dom to pioneer the concept of having a dream within a dream.
Sam's employment for the government (other than peeing in a cup and letting them draw blood) mostly involves world building for military training/teaching sub-security - with the occasional extraction subject brought in to the lab. He is *never* in the same real world room as the soldiers/subjects.
Sometimes Sam's projections can get out of hand - and they're not always human. Arthur is curious about this (everyone is) but Sam remains highly evasive. Sam chalks it up to his own night terrors/imagination and no one else ever comes up with a better explanation.
Once, while in a military exercise where his projections got out of hand, Sam dreamed up Dean's pearl-handled Colt 1911 to help get rid of them and one of the soldiers made a passing remark about it being a "awfully purty girly gun" or something similarly homophobic. It's after Arthur and Sam have become romantically involved and they both become much more paranoid about being discovered afterwards. From then on, Sam always dreams up the Taurus 92 in dreams. He *never* dreams up a Beretta 92 (the standard U.S. military sidearm) because of his firm stance about "being a civilian." From then on, Arthur is also reluctant to use a Beretta, and begins using a Glock as his usual weapon. (Glocks are often reviled as "Tupperware" due to the fact that parts of the gun are made of plastic) (May be one of the stories in "Five Times Eames Asked About Sam Winchester (But Didn't Know It)" - Eames questioning Arthur's preference in sidearms.)
Re: "Being a civilian" - this is a constant refrain from Sam and the eventual reason he breaks it off with Arthur. The tension manifests in early exchanges about why Sam is sticking with pre-law as a major when he could be studying something more directly related to dreamshare.
Gabriel ships Sam/Arthur and may have influenced many of these events.
The Blonde forged by Eames is based on one of Balthazar's vessels. (There is, in fact, a complete plot and outline behind this statement waiting for anyone who has a thing for writing Balthazar voice)
Saito made at least one purchase from Bela Talbot
Arthur knows how to cook five meals; the only one that isn't treyf is grilled cheese.
This entry was originally posted at http://moragmacpherson.dreamwidth.org/87